Abilene family, neighbors honor Fourth of July parade tradition

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Hillview Road and Heritage Park neighborhood held its annual Fourth of July parade, celebrating 24 years, but for the Cooke family, this parade and Independence Day weekend means so much more.

Since 1997 Cynthia Cooke and her husband Jim Cooke have organized and celebrated the 4th of July with a neighborhood parade.  

“It just started out as a way for neighbors to spend time together and develop community and I think that’s what it’s done,” says Cynthia.   

But unfortunately, back in January of 2019, Jim Cooke passed away.  

“I thought about him today during the parade and I thought he’s looking down from heaven smiling on our neighborhood and it was very important to him, so we want to maintain it,” says Cynthia.   

Their son Jonathan says to them this day and parade feels like more of a special holiday than a traditional one.  

“He probably liked the 4th of July more than Christmas or Thanksgiving,” says Jonathan.   

And Dan Allen, neighbor, and friend of the Cooke family, believes he made the right choice in moving into the neighborhood back in 1998.  

“We continue the tradition in his honor and for the honor of the 4th of July. It’s a good neighborhood, good neighborhood,” says Allen.    

Riding through Heritage Park on Independence Day weekend was one thing Jim Cooke loved. His wife Cynthia says they plan to have t-shirts made for their 25th year anniversary in order to honor Jim’s legacy in their neighborhood community.

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